Q&A – Florida’s New Law To Crack Down On Robocalls

Today’s entry: I remember hearing something about a new Florida law to deal with spam callers. What was it and did it take effect July 1st like the others? I still get spammed all day everyday!

Bottom Line: Yes, there was a new law signed off by Governor DeSantis and yes, it did take effect July 1st. The legislation is entitled Telephone Soliciatation. The official summary states, "Prohibiting certain telephonic sales calls without the prior express written consent of the called party; removing provisions authorizing the use of certain automated telephone dialing systems; providing a cause of action for aggrieved called parties; prohibiting a commercial telephone seller or salesperson from using automated dialing or recorded messages to make certain commercial telephone solicitation phone calls, etc." 

What specifically happens now? The biggie is the expressed written consent for automated calling. 

Under the new law telemarketers are required to have expressed written consent before "making any telephonic sales calls via phone, text, or voicemail using an automated system for selecting or dialing telephone numbers". Under the new law expressed written consent happens through an electronic or physical signature along with an acknowledgment for consumers that consent is not required as a condition to purchase goods or services. Should a telemarketing firm violate the new law, the penalty is a minimum of $500 per occurrence. 

Other changes occurring as part of the new law include limiting telemarketing calls to 8am-8pm, they may not attempt to call a person more than three times within 24 hours, and they may not conceal the identity of the firm calling or the person calling.

Now, the devil is in the details of who is actually calling you. A study of 2020 robocalls in the United States found that 46% are scams, 26% are alerts and reminders from businesses you transact, 16% are financial reminders from businesses you transact, and 13% are telemarketers.

Scammers remain your biggest issue which of course aren’t likely to begin complying Florida’s laws now and with the 2nd biggest category of robocalls being authorized and legitimate, the new law will have an impact. If you are targeted by scammers or telemarketers operating outside of Florida’s laws you’re welcome to report them directly to the state. 

Incidentally, aside from Florida’s new law, the FCC is currently working on additional measures to reign in unwanted robocalls as well. In the meantime, I take heart in having my carrier identify “Spam Risk” and block calls from the many spam risks out there. That's helped me cut down on the nonsense considerably.

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio 

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